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West Azarbayjan Townships, Iran

Orumieh (Urmia) , West Azarbayjan-Iran

The township of Orumieh lies between the western banks of the Lake Orumieh and the country of Turkey. The capital of which is the city of Orumieh. This city is located 951 km from Tehran and 13 km. west of Lake Orumieh on a green plain. Situated at an altitude, this territory is thereby separated from Turkey. Orumieh has cold winters and moderate summers.
The area bears ancient relics some of which date back to 2000 BC. A few historians believe that Orumieh is the birthplace of the prophet Zoroaster. Ancient geographers believe it to be the third most important city of Azarbayjan, ranking after the cities of Ardabil and Maraqeh. Ancient relics are present here, but due to historical upheavals some of these valuable evidences have been completely destroyed.

Bukan, West Azarbayjan-Iran

The said township lies between the two provinces of West Azarbayjan and Kurdestan . Its capital being the city of Bukan that lies en route from the city of Miandoab to Saqez. Bukan lies alongside the Simineh Rood River.
Buke in the Kurdish language means bride and Bukan is its plural. As this area forms a cross-road when rural people after a marriage ceremony wanted to take their bride, they were compelled to cross en route from this vicinity to the other. Crossing this village they used to dance and sing all together around the pool which is at present even exists and is considered to be a sight seeing area.

Chaldran (Siyah Cheshmeh) , West Azarbayjan -Iran

The township of Chaldran is to the northwest of Iran, with the city of Khoy to the south and Maku to the north. From the south, it is about 150 km. away from Turkey. In the year 920 AH., Shah Esmail Safavid and Soltan Saleem Osmani signed a treaty in the Chaldran plain. Chaldran has gold, mercury and asbestos quarries.

Khoy , West Azarbayjan -Iran

Khoy is one of the ancient regions of Iran with a moderate climate. The capital city being Khoy located 807 km. from Tehran. The word Khoy means 'salt', as the primary settlers in this region were the Medes due to the presence of a salt quarry here, called it as such. According to ancient records Khoy was a place having great importance, and was one of the branches of the Silk Road connecting east to west and passed through this city in pre-Islamic ages.

Mahabad , West Azarbayjan-Iran

Mahabad lies to the south of the province and Lake Orumieh. The center of which lies 873 km. from Tehran. In its mountainous terrain it experiences cold weather, whereas in the plains it is warmer. Mahabad was formerly known as Savojbolaq Mokri. In the year 1038 AH., during the end of the reign of Shah Abbas I, Bedaqal Soltan chief of the Mokri tribe, shifted the center of his rule to Mahabad, and interesting relics of the time have survived in this city.

Maku , West Azarbayjan-Iran

The township of Maku is the northwestern most region of Iran, is mountainous and beautiful. Maku is within international borders from three sides, its capital is the city of Maku, located 939 km. from Tehran. With a moderate climate and at an altitude of 1,294 m. above sea level. The city is in a semi-circular shape with the mountains sheltering it. In its primary stages, during the reign of Shah Abbas I, the city was no more than a fort dating to the year 1012 AH.

Miandoab , West Azarbayjan-Iran

Located in the south west of Lake Orumieh in a fertile plains. Its capital city being Miandoab, placed at 823 km. from Tehran and to the south of the province, midst the plains. Climatically it has a moderate and somewhat humid weather. The city being engulfed by two waters such as Zarineh Rood and Simineh Rood Rivers, hence the name Miandoab (between two rivers). In this territory, various tribes have ruled.

Naqadeh , West Azarbayjan-Iran

Naqadeh is in the midst of the townships of Mahabad, Piran Shahr, Oshnavieh and Orumieh, and is the axis of communications due to its position. This city had had many historical upheavals and various historical relics and vestiges have been excavated in the Hassanloo hills lying near the city which is of great importance in this area. The antiquity of these have shown to be 2000 years BC. Various clans or tribes namely the Assyrians, Kords, Manas, and the Turks have immigrated to this vicinity and made settlements. That is till the Qarah Papaq (Black Cap) Clan immigrated to the region (during the reign of Fathali Shah) from Caucasian. This clan settled down in the vast plains of Soldooz and remaining in the region of Naqadeh cultivated wheat, rice and other agricultural products there.

Oshnavieh , West Azarbayjan-Iran

In this territory many tribes or clans such as the Lullubi, Huraiyan, Assyrians, 'Orartoie and the Medes existed in the historical ages. In an inscription related to Koorush (Cyrus the Great) it is stated that the area of Oshnoonek or Oshnavieh paid a revenue to Koorush. In Kolushir (to the south west of Oshnavieh), there is an engraving 170 cm. in height, bearing inscriptions in the two languages of Orartoie and Assyrian dating to the 8th century BC. (a decree from the Orartoie ruler of the times).
In its historical past this city had been a battlefield between the Russians and the Ottomans and there has been evidence to plenty of upheavals which has caused many damages to lives and properties of the people. After which followed famine and a devastating earthquake leaving heavy damage behind, such that the city was completely ruined, only to be reconstructed by the inhabitants.

Piran Shahr , West Azarbayjan-Iran

This township was formerly known as Khaneh and due to the tribe of Piran who had their settlement within these limits, which was later on changes to Piran Shahr (the city of Pirans). Its capital city is Piran Shahr. Piran Shahr is on the border towns between Iran and Iraq, and the high mountains of Siyah Kooh and Shiphan lie respectively to the northwest and south. The River Zaab takes its source in these mountains.

Salmas , West Azarbayjan-Iran

Salmas is situated on the plains its center being the city of Salmas (formerly known as Shahpour in the Pahlavi reign), which lies 854 km. from Tehran. In ancient books Salmas has been noted for being a city with good bazaars and a mosque constructed of stone. Excavations here from the hillock of Bitan have related Salman to the Medes. In the Achaemenian times, Salmas was known as Zarvand. Due to the fact of its position, that is stranding between Iran and Rome, this city after the fall of Khosrow Ashkani came under the hands of the Sassanians.

Sardasht , West Azarbayjan-Iran

Sardasht is situated in the southwest of the province and near the borders of Iran and Iraq. It has natural beauty and the inhabitants of this area believe Sardasht to be the birthplace of Zoroater. This area was formerly known as Zartosht, whereas after the Arab invasion to Iran, the name changed to Sardasht.

Shahindej , West Azarbayjan-Iran

In the Sassanian era, 30 km. from the fire-temple of Azar Goshasb, a fort named Sa'ien Dej was constructed and was utilized by those who visited the fire-temple for worship. After the Arab attack its name was changed to Sa'ien and later on this region proved to be an accommodation for pilgrims to Karbala.

Takab , West Azarbayjan -Iran

The township of Takab is one of the historical sites of the province, well worth visiting. These historical relics are from the pre-Islamic period. The famous 'Takht-e-Soleiman' castle which is 45 km. northeast of Takab, is where the large fire-temple from the Sassanian era is located known as Azar Goshasb (one of the three large fire-temples of the Sassanian periods). The remnants of which remains within a rampant, in addition to a natural spring and a large pool. It is believed that the city of Sheez stood here, but due to the volcanic eruptions of the Zendan Mountains or for some other unknown reason, this city was turned to rubble and is no more.

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